Foodborne illness is caused by consuming contaminated (sometimes reheated) food or beverages. It occurs when harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances are ingested, leading to various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. The severity and duration of gastritis associated with food poisoning can vary depending on an individual’s overall health and the causative organism. Common causes of food poisoning include:
- Bacteria: Pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, and Listeria are often responsible for foodborne illnesses. These bacteria can multiply in food if it is not stored, prepared, or cooked properly.
- Viruses: Viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A can spread through contaminated food or water. They can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and other health issues.
- Parasites: Parasites such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma are common parasites that contaminate food and water and cause food poisoning.
- Toxins: Some food poisoning cases are caused by natural toxins produced by certain types of fish (scombroid poisoning), shellfish (paralytic shellfish poisoning), or plants (like poisonous mushrooms).
Food poisoning can manifest with a variety of symptoms, and the specific symptoms experienced can vary depending on the type of contaminant and the individual’s overall health. Here are 12 common symptoms of food poisoning:
1. Nausea (Feeling Queasy)
Nausea is a distressing symptom that can occur when the body detects the presence of harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins in the digestive system, often stemming from contaminated food or beverages. It serves as a protective mechanism, signaling to the body that something is amiss and potentially harmful. Nausea can vary in intensity from mild discomfort to severe queasiness, and an aversion to food and drink may accompany it. This aversion can be the body’s way of preventing further ingestion of potentially harmful substances.
Nausea is often an early warning sign of food poisoning, appearing within hours to a few days after consuming contaminated food. It can be quite distressing, as it can interfere with routine activities and cause a general feeling of unease. While nausea alone can be uncomfortable, it can also progress to vomiting, which is the body’s way of forcibly expelling the contents of the stomach to eliminate the source of the illness.